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I see examples of “content is queen” everywhere and I file these anecdotes away to share with clients when the time is right, but recently I had a great example that I wanted to share with you. It literally ticks all of my content boxes when I get on my high horse about this topic. ?
You may or may not know that I have a ten month old puppy, Mally (short for Malachy, the end is -key not -kai). Mally is what people in the dog world would call a “potential sports dog” or “potential performance dog.” What this means is that he’s got buckets of talent that would make him good at things like agility, competition obedience, flyball, disc dog, trick dog, stunt dog—yeah, all the things you find deep in the recesses of ESPN47 or whatever number they’re on at this point. He can learn everything and anything, his only limits being his handler. Yes, that’s me. (Check out his moves here.)
Anyway, we’ve been in dog training classes nonstop every week for the last six months and have moved through all the advanced classes available in our area. (We’re currently looking for an intro agility class that’s within 30 minutes of us.) We really loved our Rally-Obedience class (think agility meets competition obedience) at Doggy Business in NE Portland and want to compete in Rally (there are really fancy ribbons you can win!!) in 2020. (This is my life now, it’s so weird.) The problem is, there aren’t really any classes after the intro one we took. Most people don’t want to advance, don’t have the time to commit to practice, or just think it’s a weird thing to do.
But, there’s a world of online opportunities! Our lovely Rally instructor, Coralyn, directed us to some highly specific courses at a reputable online school that only does super niche dog training classes. Think classes to address if your nosework dog smashes the article they’re suppose to be finding, or your agility dog barks too much in the ring, or you want to learn massage for your aging schutzhund competitor. Yeah, super nichey. And, yes, this is all wildly successful. (That’s the beauty of online business.)
Folks, there are nearly ten of their classes on my “want to take” wish list. (I’m so cool!)
What’s the point of this little story? Well, the online dog school could have done general classes and done okay, targeting people who don’t have access to basic obedience with an online alternative. But instead they’ve gone hyper-focused, creating content and courses that a small but voracious audience will love and is clamoring for. They have an incredible podcast, a ton of webinars (curious about the latest positive reinforcement games for teaching heeling? they’ve got you), a killer blog, and just oodles of content that you literally cannot find anywhere else.
They’ve recruited The Experts in these weird niches to teach, be guests on the podcast, etc. What to put together a great dog dancing routine (and who doesn’t)? Yep, they’ve got a class and a handful of podcast episodes about that. There’s nowhere else where you can find this info so easily.
And that’s the point of sharing this story. Get focused, provide quality content and focused products that will delight a narrow audience. It’s really that simple.
I so frequently see business owners and organizational leaders trying to talk to all the people and as a result you have to keep your info super top level and general. This also means that you have to compete with lots of other folks. But if you get laser focused, honing your content to a niche or a specific audience, your job becomes easier and content creation is, honestly, nearly effortless. This also means that the rest of your marketing becomes easier too.
Worried about SEO? You can grab those low volume, highly relevant keywords and run with them. Looking at paid advertising? You can say goodbye to general Google ads and sponsor a post on an influential blog or team up with a highly followed social media account for a promotion.
Josh wrote a bit about this on the SM+Co blog in the context of teaching classes awhile back—over and over again we see people shooting for a general audience, but narrowing their focus creates stronger results more rapidly and more sustainably.
How can you narrow your focus, even a smidgen, right now, and create a content plan in 2020 to support that? I’d love to hear about it if you’re kicking this idea around!
Are you in need of some good advice about all this? Book an “ask me anything” style strategy session with Sarah!